Russian Federation faces United States action over Skripal attack

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     TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

FACEBOOK GETTY TARGETED Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok

Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, according to a statement from the State Department.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for the United Kingdom but later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury.

Since the March attack, two other British nationals with no ties to Russian Federation have been poised by the substance.

"We share the United Kingdom's assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia's failure to address the legitimate request by the government of the United Kingdom further underlines Russia's responsibility".

A State Department official said the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russian Federation.

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They were found in a serious condition on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre, and the discovery of the substance sparked a city-wide investigation with police having to cordon off large areas, including where they had eaten dinner that evening.

The Skripals were targeted in the March attack, but the second pair to be affected came across the poison in a perfume bottle they found in a bin in Amesbury, eight miles away, in July. "Vladimir Putin must know that we will not tolerate his deadly acts, or his ongoing attacks on our democratic process", Royce said Wednesday. His administration has sanctioned a number of Russian officials and oligarchs for human rights abuses and election meddling.

In March, the USA expelled 60 Russian diplomats as part of a joint response with allies to the nerve-agent attack. The U.S. said at the time it was the largest expulsion of Russian spies in American history.

There would, however, be exemptions for space flight activities, government space cooperation, and areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, which would be reviewed on a case by case basis, the official added.

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